By Scott Tibbs, October 24, 2016
Some folks just do not understand how Facebook works. I recently posted a photo on Facebook, and one of the "friends" of one of the people tagged commented on it. This is someone I do not want to deal with on my personal Facebook profile, so I deleted his comment and blocked him so he could not comment again. In response, he posted on another website, ranting about me and calling me the following names:
- just another rightwing religious shitbag
- a fucking joke of a person
Had the identical comment been I posted the photo on the fan page for the blog, I would not have deleted it. However, I reserve the right to limit who I interact with on my personal Facebook page - just as everyone else on Facebook does. No one is harmed by that. Note that I said "personal," not "private." Nothing posted to social media is truly "private," no matter how tightly a user locks down available privacy settings.
See, here is what many people do not understand: There is no such thing as "free speech" on social media, especially on a personal profile or fan page not managed by the person posting. Even things posted to one's own profile must be within Facebook's terms of Service. Obviously the government may not censor what someone says, with very limited and narrowly defined exceptions, but we are all guests on those services.
Basically, everyone needs to chill out. I have had a number of comments deleted, and I have seen several entire discussions zapped where I had written quite a bit. Yes, it is frustrating and I have often disagreed with the deletions. But the deleted comments were not on my profile and not on my fan pages. I do not have the right to expect that every comment I make will stick. Respect others' cyber-property and behave like you are a guest in someone's home or business. Your Constitutional rights are not violated when comments are deleted.